J.C. Penney Is Still A Mess, With or Without Ackman

Photograph by Mark Lennihan/AP Images

Maybe the best time to buy is the minute Bill Ackman opens his mouth. While the activist shareholder has been having a rough ride with Herbalife and J.C. Penney, he does know how to spark excitement. After Ackman quit the board on Aug. 13, J.C. Penney’s shares rose, then fell as investors realized that the guy who owns 18 percent of the company is so unhappy he might actually sell. Still, it was a nice burst of euphoria, much like the jump on Aug. 8, when Ackman pressured the retailer to speed up its chief executive officer search.

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